Parking proximity – You can never park close enough.

Alec Baldwin has recently pleaded guilty to second degree harassment for a fight over a NYC parking spot.

The Hollywood actor was accused of trying to punch another driver during a row outside his apartment building in Manhattan.

This behaviour and sense of ownership towards parking has always baffled me.

Ultimately parking is within a public domain, unless a space is allocated for me, I have the clear expectation that I might not be able to find a space.  Yes it is frustrating but that is ultimately the rules of the game.

People who get adamant about the spot closest to their house? Well that’s a different story.

Look at it this way, there is always a distance you have to travel to get to your house from your car.  Even if you could park directly on the drive, you still have to get out and walk to your front door.  No parking space will ever offer you the freedom of being able to roll out of your driver’s seat and onto your sofa!

The best practice I find for this and a lot of situations in life is to reverse engineer it.  Start from the worst case scenario and work down from there.

For instance, I once parked on a single yellow line in Central London for an entire day.  Certain that the restrictions didn’t apply as it was bank holiday, I was blindly naive to the fact that some councils have a different approach to bank holidays.  My friend posted about this tactic by local authorities, and being some distance from my cab, I accepted the fact that I was probably going to get a ticket.

Initially enraged at the situation, I was able to let this fizzle out.  In my mind I visualised that I had received a £60 fine, it had been paid and my life went on as normal, that’s the worse case scenario.

Upon arriving back at my cab, I was very surprised to not see a yellow fixed penalty notice adhered to my windscreen.  Rather than hoping for the best, preconditioning myself for the worst actually gave me great joy upon the realisation that I didn’t have a parking ticket.

Accept that there is a non-negotioable cost to your parking space (a short walk from the driver’s seat to your office), no parking space can ever void this cost.  Maybe, park even further from where you intend to park, enjoy the walk and the brief moment of freedom before you have to sit at your desk, or before you enter your home full of chores and never ending tasks.  That walk might be one of the more exciting and free moment’s of your day.